The recently released extended commercial trailer of The Last of Us Part 2 has been blamed for using the music of a Seattle-based musician without permission.
Taking to Twitter earlier today, singer/songwriter Lotte Kestner claimed that Naughty Dog copied a portion of a cover she did of True Faith by New Order nearly a decade ago. The cover in question was released by Kestner in 2011 as part of her album called Stolen, and features original parts not found in the original version. She further alleged that those original parts were replicated in the music used for the extended commercial trailer of The Last of Us Part 2.
@Neil_Druckmann @Naughty_Dog hey are you aware that the true faith cover you put in your last of us 2 trailer is a replica of my cover that came out 10 yrs ago? I wrote original parts not in the original song that are copied exactly by whoever covered it. I am heartbroken.
— Lotte Kestner (@lottekestner) June 4, 2020
For those interested in doing a comparison: Kestner’s cover against the Last of Us Part 2 trailer, and the New Order’s original version. The accusation of Kestner is mostly for a humming portion that she did in her cover, which were sung by Ellie in the trailer. The same humming vocals were not part of the original song.
What Kestner has claimed may hold some water but which might probably not be enough from a legal standpoint. The situation would have been different if she was the rightful owner of the True Faith song. What she did was a cover, and that gives everyone the freedom to do their own covers as well. Naughty Dog may have as well did another cover of the song. Kestner has not made any demands and has only suggested to be given credits. Naughty Dog has not issued a statement over the matter.
The Last of Us Part 2 will release exclusively for PlayStation 4 on June 19, 2020.